Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat Recall Not Really a Recall, Consumer Groups SayOct 29, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP
The Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat recall is being criticized by consumer advocates for not being a recall at all. That’s because instead allowing people to return the defective infant seat for a refund, the manufacturer of the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat is only offering consumers a new warning label and instructions for what it says is proper usage of the seat. Some consumer groups are saying that remedy is not enough, especially considering that the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat has caused serious head injuries to three children, and minor injuries to dozens more.
The Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat, sold by Bumbo International of South Africa, is a soft foam chair that is supposed to allow infants to sit upright without the aid of straps. It is designed with the seat lower than the leg openings so that children will remain secure. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began investigating the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat earlier this month, after several media outlets reported on children who were severely injured after falling from the seat. According to the CPSC, three children received skull fractures due to falls from the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat, and at least twenty five were involved in falls from the defective seat.
As part of the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat recall, Bumbo International will be sending new warning stickers that read “WARNING – Prevent Falls; Never use on any elevated surface.” Those warning stickers will also be added to all Bumbo Baby Sitter Seats sold in the future. The children most seriously injured were sitting in Bumbo Baby Sitter Seats that were placed on raised surfaces, like tables. Bumbo International has conceded that some of its packaging and marketing materials that showed pictures of the Bumbo seat being used on a raised surface could have contributed to injuries from Bumbo seat falls. But the company insists that the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat is safe when used correctly.
But some parents of children injured by the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat do not agree with the company’s assessment. According to Consumer Affairs.com, some children have been injured by the Bumbo Seat while it was being used at ground level. One mother told the website that her child sustained a large bruise after tumbling out of a Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat that was on the floor. This mom was sitting right next to her daughter, who weighed well below the 22-lb limit for the Bumbo Seat when she fell out and smacked her head on the floor.
What’s more, the lack of a true recall means that the defective Baby Bumbo Sitter Seat is still being sold. While most large retailers like Toys ‘R’ Us and Target have taken the item off their websites, it can still be found on sites like eBay and PassportBaby. According to Consumer Affairs.com, PassportBaby is even advertising the Bumbo Seat as a place “Baby can sit happily while you make dinner,” even though it has been proven that close supervision is necessary to keep a child safe in a Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat.
Clearly, the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat “recall” is not going to be enough to keep babies safe from this defective product. Removing the Bumbo Baby Sitter Seat from the market until the manufacturer comes up with a safer design is the only effective way to deal with this dangerous product.